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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

I Watched You Die - Backyard Decay [Distorted Visions - 2013]

Backyard Decay is another slice of oppressive ‘n’ darkly brutal walled noise from I Watched You Die. This release comes in the form of a C45 tape, that features one long ‘wall’ per side of tape.

I Watched You Die is one of the projects of brutal ‘n’ creative Dubuque Iowa based noise artists Alex Nowacki (Boar, Phantom Rib, Centuries Behind A Gate, Polyester Pants). The project has been in active since 2011, and has released around nine CDR & cassette releases thus far.

Both tracks here are untitled, and the first sides track opens with the sound of shovelling earth. With-in less than a minute we’re into the ‘wall’, which is an extremely taut mixture of: tight churning ‘n’ tunnelling muffled low end, and very intense/ static bound scarping ‘n’ shovelling texturing. The whole ‘wall’ has a very subterranean & earthy feel to it, yet at the same time it’s damn intense, taut, urgent & suffocating too- bringing to mind either the panic of being buried alive, with earth & turf rapidly thrown against your tired down body. Or maybe the tunnels of some deep, dark & disused mine collapsing all around you.  As the ‘wall’ progresses Nowacki is slowly, but surely tighten the track intensity up more ‘n’ more- the churning ‘n’ tunnelling remains fairly firm through-out, yet the scraping/ shovelling texture seems to get more & more agitated ‘n’ searing in it’s feel, and one can almost feel the tones grit string/ lashing your skin.

So we flip over to the second side of tape, and this sides track is another very intense & possible even more enclosing/ clastropibic ‘wall’. It’s built around:a fixed low-end tunnelling ‘n’ juddering tone, a caustic scarping ‘n’ tight sputtering mid range, and this growning slicing ‘n’ gritty thinner static grain. The tunnel texture here is a lot more defined & clear than the first sides track, yet it still retains quite a muddy & rapidly tumbling earth quality. The other textures really seem to ramp up the instenisty more & more, and these elements rather brought to mind a continuous & painful down pour of red hot soil ‘n’ grit going directly into your ears.

All of I Watched You Die’s releases have always been consistent in their brutality, quality of wall-making, and their textural addictive-ness. And Backyard Decay is no different, yet it seems to notch the intensity up & up…it truly is a great HNW release.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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